Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin: AJ to hit back
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin: AJ to hit back

Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin: AJ to hit back

Date: 01/04/2023

Venue: O2 Arena


Anthony Joshua will look to get his career back on track by beating Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena in London.

AJ lost his WBA, IBF and WBO belts to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021 and failed to gain revenge in last August’s rematch, leaving him at a crossroad here.

However, we’re taking 6/4 for the Englishman to wear down his opponent and win in rounds seven to 10 as our first Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin prediction.

Joshua still feels ‘fresh and young’

Although tipping Tommy Fury to beat Jake Paul on points gave us a nice 9/2 pay-out, it is good to get back to some genuine elite-level boxing.

Joshua won 24 of his first 25 fights, including an epic 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko, but couldn’t cope with Usyk’s superior skill and speed.

Both of their bouts went the full distance, but AJ could have no arguments with the Ukrainian getting the decision each time.

However, the 33-year-old remains in the mix for some major pay-days if safely negotiating this comeback fight.

Despite twice seeing a blockbuster bout with Tyson Fury fall through, that rivalry could still be resurrected.

“I still feel fresh and young,” said Joshua. “At this stage of my career, I don’t think I’ve taken so much punishment or I’m war-torn. I still feel fresh.

“People question if my head is in the game. I had to get rid of some distractions and things in my life to put my heart back into the game.”

There are bound to be some nerves against Franklin, with retirement a real option if things go wrong.

Joshua hasn’t stopped anyone inside six rounds since taking out Eric Molina in three back in December 2016, so he may ease his way into this contest.

Looking at the Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin odds, we feel 11/4 for the favourite to oblige in rounds 7-9 is another solid option.

Franklin fit and fired up, warns Hearn

Franklin rattled off 21 consecutive victories at a lower level before being pitched against Dillian Whyte at Wembley Arena in November.

Joshua was at ringside for that bout and saw the American have some success in the early stages, before Whyte got on top in the middle rounds.

However, Franklin showed great durability and kept plugging away and many thought he was unlucky to be on the wrong end of a majority decision.

One judge scored that contest a draw at 115-115, but the other two went in favour of Whyte by 116-112.

Whyte is a decent yardstick, having performed with credit in losses to Fury and Joshua, as well as beating Derek Chisora twice.

That Wembley Arena battle suggests Franklin should also be able to hold his own here for a while.

“I’m nervous because you look at Jermaine Franklin – he looks like a new man,” promoter Eddie Hearn told IFL TV.

“He’s done about 30lbs, he’s absolutely flying in camp and that’s what you get, they step up.

“AJ must win this fight and I believe he wins this fight, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy. All the pressure is on him and that is nerve-racking.”

Joshua has past history of seventh-round stoppages, seeing off Whyte, Dominic Breazeale and Alexander Povetkin at that point.

Let’s add 8/1 for him to get the job done in the same section here to our Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin betting tips.

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